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Saving Your Work

If you really like the results of your efforts, you can save the illustration and perhaps later print it to hang on the refrigerator. The command File, Save is the basic method.

Choosing a File Format

For now, you'll want to save your files in the native Adobe Illustrator file format (.ai). (The pop-up menu in the Save dialog box offers a couple of other formats, as shown in Figure 3.28.) The native Illustrator format is the only one that is sure to preserve all the features of your document.

If your work will be printed on a commercial printing press, using the Export command to create a TIFF (.tif) file or saving as an Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) file might make more sense. For the World Wide Web, you'll need .gif, .jpg, or.png (all of which are available through the Save for Web command), or SVG from the Save dialog box. We'll look at file formats more closely in Hour 20, "Understanding File Formats and Platform Issues." The various print and Web formats will also be discussed in Hours 21, "Printing Your Illustrations," 22, "Creating Web Graphics," and 23, "Animating the Web."

Figure 3.28 PDF can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader. EPS is used for print. SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is designed for the Web.

Picking a Location, a Name, and Some Options

Where you choose to save your file is up to you. Perhaps in the My Documents folder in Windows, in your Documents folder in Mac OS X, on the Mac OS 9 Desktop, or perhaps even on a removable disk.

Most modern computer systems recognize long file names, so you can basically choose any name you want. Some characters shouldn't be used (and will be listed in Hour 20). It is a good idea, even for Macintosh-based operations, to use the filename extension. (You can have Illustrator automatically add the extension by selecting that option in the Preferences, Files & Clipboard window.)

After you click OK, you're presented with the dialog box in Figure 3.29.

Figure 3.29 The second dialog box allows you to choose what data to include in the file.

Choosing Illustrator 10 for compatibility ensures that everything will be editable later. For now, as a general rule of thumb, if a box isn't grayed out, check it. The file might be somewhat larger, but you'll be retaining all of the information.

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